Detained former judge found hanged in prison

10:00, November 30, 2009      

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A former senior judge accused of taking bribes committed suicide in a detention center in southwest China on Saturday, according to the local authorities.

Wu Xiaoqing, 57, used a drawstring from his cotton underwear to hang himself in his cell at the No.2 Detention House in Chongqing Municipality on Saturday noon, China Daily cited a statement by the municipal government's information office as reporting on Monday.

Wu was the ex-director of the enforcement bureau of the municipal higher people's court and president of a local court college.

He was seized in June on suspicion of taking bribes of about 3.57 million yuan (512,700 U.S. dollars) and 100,000 HK dollars (12,900 U.S. dollars) between 1998 and 2008.

The former judge was also unable to provide an explanation to the authorities of where he had obtained another 5.18 million yuan, the statement said.

The official statement said the former senior judge had managed to find a blind spot away from the security camera in his cell and killed himself as his cellmates slept.

His cellmates later woke up and alerted the guards in the area when they found his body.

Wu was sent to a local hospital before being pronounced dead at 3:40 p.m., the statement said.

Two police officers at the detention house are under investigation following Wu's death, the authorities said.

Officials said the former judge left a suicide note, but the contents of the letter had not been revealed.

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